What you need to know before you purchase a Drill Press

A drill press is basically just a beefed up drill. The drill press is very capable, and can easily do a lot more than the hand drill or other similar more basic types of drills because of its unique design. The unique design uses leverage to give you the ability to exert a lot of power with the drill bit, without much effort on your part. Drill presses come in many different shapes and sizes, but the most common type is a style which is mounted onto your work bench. There are also other types for more niche tasks, like making jewelry, we will take a look at some of these later on. Although the main uses of the drill press are for wood-work and metal work jobs, there is so much you can use them for that any DIY enthusiast should consider purchasing one. If you know that you want to get a drill press, but you don’t yet know which drill press is the best for you, keep reading. We aim to answer your questions so you can make a wise purchase that will leave you satisfied in your workshop.

Drill Presses can roughly be categorized into three main groups. The first (and most common) type is the benchtop drill press, then there is the much larger floor drill press. The third (less common) type of drill press that we will take a look at is known as the small or miniature drill press. Between these three different styles of machine, there is a tool perfect for everyone and every task.

 

Bench top drill presses

these are the most common type found in the garage/workshop of most wood-workers and DIY enthusiasts. They are more portable than floor drill presses, but still large enough to complete all the work most people need. As the name implies, this type of drill press is usually bolted onto a table top, or work bench, along side your various other benchtop tools. The swing distance of these style machines is usually around 7 – 10 inches. So you should consider if that is large enough for you (for most people it is). It helps to know exactly what sort of tasks you’re going to be using it for, before you go shopping, that way you know ahead how big you want the machine to be.

 

The Floor Drill press

This is the largest style machine, and as such not quite as common for the everyday DIY folk. The floor drill press is mostly used in factories, professional workshops, or for applications that are more industrial in nature. They usually sit at around 18 inch capacity, hence why they must be bolted to the floor (because of their height).

 

Mini Drill Press

The mini drill press (also called the small drill press) is a tiny drill press that is used in some particular niches that require such a precise machine. They are extremely portable and light, and yet quite powerful. Because of this they’re a favorite tool among jewelers. The base of this type of drill is actually the same part that is used as a drilling table, this is the design feature that enables them to be so compact. If you think a mini drill press might be right for you, eurotool produce fantastic offerings in this niche.

 

Conclusion

There is an abundance of choices when it comes to choosing the best drill press for your specific needs, that’s why it’s so important to consider all of the different options you have. If you’ve read this guide and you’re still not sure which drill press is the right one for you, our top recommendation is the WEN 4208. This is because it is a fantastic middle ground, having a powerful motor, and still being pretty compact and easy to transport. It is an 8 inch bench top style model, which means it will get just about any work done, unless you’re a power user that needs a floor drill press. But if that’s the case, and you need a large floor drill press then you probably already know which model you need. If you have anything to add to this guide, or if you’d just like to share your thoughts on this topic please get in contact with us. If you’re using a drill press, safety is very important, that is why we recommend you check out our guide to drill press safety.

Drill Press Safety Guide

Using a drill press will reduce the amount of time that you need to spend on a task, not only because of the accuracy and the precision that come along with it, but also the power. However, a heavy piece of equipment like the drill press comes with its own set of precautions that must be followed closely to avoid injury. After all, power tools and electrical equipment are serious beasts – not toys.

Below are the top safety considerations for using a drill press

You should first and foremost become familiar with your machine. Learn every bolt, screw and lever inside and out. Ensure that you read the owner’s manual thoroughly as well. You need to be able to understand all of the potential hazards that may arise as a result of not following the procedures outlined in the manual carefully.

Remember to cover your eyes to protect from wooden or metal splinters, which could cause injury or blindness. The best way to do this is by wearing a full face mask, or protective goggles. NEVER use a drill press without eye protection. Ensure that before you turn on the power to the drill press, the chuck key is removed. The other workaround to this would be using a self-ejecting chuck key. However not all drill presses have these – so it’s best to check.

Make sure that the drill press button is switched to off mode/position when not in use. Especially while making any sort of repairs to the machine, ensure that the power cord is removed from the power source. This precautions is intended to prevent unwanted electrical shocks. Also you must use the correct drill bit for whatever material you’re drilling into, using the wrong one could cause a mess! As well as the right drill bit, the work piece must be held securely in place. you can use a drill press vise for this.

The spindle pulley on the drill press should be covered with a guard and there should be no loose clothing or jewelry in the area while operating the drill press. if you have long hair, be sure to tie it back or chop it off. If you don’t do this things can get caught up which can be extremely dangerous.

To prevent respiratory illness the work area needs to be well ventilated at all times, especially while using sanding drums or anything that creates fumes/dust. If you’re in doubt you can always wear a breathing/dust mask or respirator for extra protection.

Conclusion

In conclusion, read the manual! Once you’ve done that make sure you follow our steps listed above. You can always consult a professional or contact us if you’re still unsure about how to use a drill press safely. Feel free to leave a comment if you have anything to add to this list.